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The Works logoMany of you will know of, or will have been to, one of our Night Shift events. We introduced these late-night concerts about 5 years ago, for a number of reasons – the prime one being that we wanted to appeal to a different audience to that which comes along at 7pm. But also at the OAE we like experimenting and trying new things – and the idea of a late-night informal concert simply appealed to us. As evidenced by the fact we’re still doing them 5 years later, the series has been a great success, but a year ago we started thinking ‘what next’?

When I say ‘what next’ I mean in terms of types of concert. We really like the idea of varying the concert format, so that we have a range of things that appeal to different people. We already have our ‘standard’ 7pm concerts, the Night Shift and also our amazingly popular Tots events. So we started thinking about other ideas. A shortlist was drawn up, we debated it at a board meeting, and we decided to go for something which at the time was called an ‘explorer’ concert. Read the rest of this entry »

Pride meeting

They weren't at all embarassed about having their picture taken...

I might have just been paranoid, but I’m pretty sure that when I stood up and took this picture in a meeting, announcing that I was going to write a blog article, that everyone thought I was a bit mad. And probably wondered how I was going to make this meeting sound in any way interesting to people.

But I thought that you, our readers, fans and concert-goers might be interested in some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on at the OAE, and indeed, other Orchestras.

This relates a little to a favourite anecdote of our CEO, Stephen. He was asked at some function-or-other if being Chief Executive of the OAE was a full-time job. The person asking was pretty surprised when he said yes, and even more surprised when he said it was also a full time job for the 17 others in the office too.

So when you look at the Orchestra’s staff list in the concert programme you may well be thinking ‘what do all these people actually do?!’

Well, in the Communications team, one of the things we do is (and this may come as a surprise to you) talk and plan with other Orchestras and our main London venue, Southbank Centre. This is where Pride comes in. Pride is not anything to do with a march or a type of bread but is instead, rather more mundanely, the name of the regular marketing meeting the four Resident Orchestras; the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta and ourselves, have with Southbank Centre. The name ‘Pride’ comes from around 10 years ago, when these meetings first started off life as a group working on exhibiting ‘pride’ in the Resident Orchestras. Read the rest of this entry »

One for Night Shift fans – we’ve got a little vote going on over on our Night Shift Facebook page to help us decide on the flyer designs for the next year or so of events. Our designer Martin from INTRO has come up with two great options, ‘Abstract Architecture’ and ‘Pop Art Vs Vorticists’, and there’s a pic of each option here plus more over on Facebook. We’re going to close voting tomorrow so get your votes in now!

For tonight’s Night Shift we tried something new to promote it and booked a number of ‘fly-posting’ sites around London. The posters arrived in the office last week, and we have to admit we were pretty pleased with them – but not as pleased as we were when we saw the pictures of them in situ! Here are a selection of pictures of the posters up – hope you like. If it’s intrigued you tickets are still available for tonight’s event.

Coming up next week on the blog: Violinist Susan Carpenter-Jacobs on the Rattle tour and life in a stage-band,  first post from a mystery ‘Back-Row Blogger’, pictures from the Rattle tour, everything you’d ever want to know about touring with Fortepianos and the low-down on how and why the Queen of Pop, Madonna, ended up coming to our concert last week…

William Norris, Communications Director

Thanks to everyone who voted and helped us decided on our Missa Solemnis postcard design. They arrived in our office yesterday and look fantastic – very eye catching. Many of you will find them landing on your doormats soon…

Last summer we asked you to help us decide on our Vespers postcard, and now we’re turning to you again to put your thoughts into the pot as we decide on a postcard to promote our performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis this Autumn, for which we’re collaborating with the Philharmonia Chorus. Rob, the designer at Harrison & Co, has come up with a number of designs, which we’ve narrowed down to three. Needless to say, there’s a variety of differing opinions, so as before, we thought we’d ask our audiences what they reckon too.

So, here are three possible cover designs for the postcard. Take a look and vote for your favourite (strictly First Past The Post, no second preferences please), and if you feel so motivated then leave us a comment too. Votes in by Tuesday 10am please!

UPDATE: Thanks all your votes – looks like the red one won by a mile!

Through the history of recorded music the cover artwork on a CD or LP has always been an important part of the finished product, and in the pop world in particular, there are have been some truly legendary and iconic designs – just think of Abbey Road, The Dark Side of the Moon, Sgt. Pepper and Nirvana’s Nevermind. The fact I don’t feel a need to post pictures of these to remind readers is a testament to the way their cover art has entered the popular conciousness.

It has to be said though that classical music hasn’t done so well with its cover art (though do feel free to tell us about any of your favourite covers) and it’s probably easier to find some really bad cover art than anything really distinctive. There are some exceptions of course (two of my favourites being the Virgin Ultraviolet range and Decca’s Argo line, both now out of print, and some more in this blog article) but they are the exception and not the rule. Read the rest of this entry »

This week, we speak to Natasha Stehr in the OAE office…

What’s your role in the OAE office?Tasha

Marketing and Press Officer

What does your typical day involve?

I usually start my day looking through the previous day’s papers, then check my work emails.  The rest of the day comprises of: updating our social networking sites and website, preparing programmes for the new season, compiling articles for our various newsletters/blog, updating our mailing list/database, writing and sending press releases, researching new media and community websites, talking to our student reps and finding new ways to attract a younger audience to our events.  Over the next two months, I’ll be going to all the London uni freshers fayres to promote our student scheme- time consuming but a lot of fun, plus I get to pick up a lot of freebies!

Which mobile number do you call the most?

Either home or my boyfriend’s mobile. Read the rest of this entry »

A few months ago I was asked by Jon Jacob at the BBC to contribute to a video for the Proms website, which would explore approaches to getting people to come to and try out classical music. Jon also came along to one of our Night Shift performances to get some footage. A couple of weeks ago the video, which features contributions from other orchestral marketers and critic Tom Service, was released. The video explores what the ‘barriers’ are to people coming to concerts – i.e. what is stopping them from coming, and what we can do to encourage them. I have to say I found it very odd watching myself on the video, I was totally unaware of all sorts of mannerism and habits when I speak!

Anyway, here’s the vid. You might also be interested to know that Job Jacob writes a throughly good blog

William Norris, Marketing Director

Ok, maybe we are pushing the ‘idol’ thing a bit far now!

We’ve been working with our designers Harrison on some designs for a postcard to promote our special Vespers performance at Kings Place this summer. They’ve come up with a number of great designs, and we can’t quite decide on one – I’ve asked around, but everyone has a different opinion in the office. So, given that the people we want to come to this are you, our audience, I thought it would be sensible to ask our blog readers their opinion, so we can add it into the mix. So, here are three design options for the flyer – let us know which one you prefer by voting below – the vote will close at 6pm tomorrow.

William Norris, Marketing Director

OAE on Twitter

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